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NFU calls on Defra to make bridging payments to farmers awaiting BPS cash

Defra has been urged to make bridging payments to farmers still awaiting their Basic Payments after the NFU raised concerns some would be suffering serious cashflow issues.


Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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NFU calls on Defra to make bridging payments to those awaiting BPS cash

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is thought to have achieved its target of paying 90 per cent of claimants by the January 1 deadline.

 

NFU vice-president Guy Smith said while this was encouraging, it was frustrating more than 8,000 farmers had received nothing.

 

“Defra should at the very least match for English farmers what has been done in Scotland and Wales when it comes to bridging payments,” said Mr Smith.

 

“Furthermore, we are aware many of those paid feel they have not been paid correctly. This will add to the already unacceptable amount of outstanding workload at the RPA due to 2015/2016 issues still unresolved."


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Mr Smith said a number of union members had expressed concerns about the changes made to the Rural Land Register in the RPA’s remapping exercise.

 

“We fear the RPA have a mountain of RLE1 correction forms coming their way,” he added.

 

“To deal with these strains the RPA needs to reintroduce whole case-workers, familiar with a farmer’s claim, that the farmer can talk to directly.

 

"We would also like to see the reintroduction of regional walk-in centres where farmers can talk to someone direct."

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